Friday, September 14, 2012


"The happy combination of fortuitous circumstances," Scottish author Sir Walter Scott.

That quote beautifully sums up how earlier this year I started baking for a hip coffeeshop in the historical district in Istanbul.

So here's the story:

Two friends, an American and an American-Canadian, visit Turkey several times on vacation and fall in love with the country. They quit their U.S. jobs, move to Istanbul and dream of opening a coffeeshop.

They find the right location in Sultanahmet. Construction begins.

A neighbor, seeing the new construction, walks by nearly every day to see what's happening. This neighbor, Kelly of Playing Around Workshops in Istanbul, is a good friend of mine.

Earl and Ken tell Kelly they are looking for a French pastry chef. She tells them she knows just the right person.

Well, I'm not French. However, I am trained in making French pastries thanks to working at Jean-Georges in NYC

So I make some of my chocolate ganache tarts, strawberry-vanilla cream tarts, lemon curds tarts and chocolate brioche. 

One day, I meet Earl and Ken. I tempt them with my sweet pastries. And soon a partnership is born!

Right now, you can find my fig and frangipane tarts, homemade peach pies, mocha swirl cheesecake, chocolate-dipped biscotti and more at Denizen Coffee in Sultanahmet. I make the pastries while Earl and Ken provide the freshest cup of coffee - iced or hot, cappuccino and espresso in the area. No Nescafe here! 
Fresh Turkish figs star in this frangipane tart at Denizen Coffee in Istanbul.
Denizen Coffee has some delicious panini sandwiches and smoothies on the menu too. I've even taste-tested them for you!
Smoked turkey panini sandwich - one of my regular lunches when I stop at the coffeeshop.
Earl and Ken also dish up the local gossip and make me laugh whenever I pop in the coffeeshop. 

If you live in Istanbul or are just visiting the city, you must stop by Denizen Coffee. Earl and Ken will greet you with a smile and then fix you right up with a jolt of caffeine and tempt you with one of my sweet pastries. If you need sightseeing advice, they can provide that too.

I'm very lucky to have met these fellow expats thanks to another expat here in Istanbul.
Earlier this week, Istanbul Daily Secret popped in for a photo shoot.
That's me in the middle with my two favorite coffee guys - Ken and Earl.
Denizen Coffee
Address: Şehit Mehmet Pasa Yokuşu No. 8
Sultanhamet, Istanbul

Here is a map.
An inside look at Denizen Coffee during one of my early morning deliveries.

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14 comments:

Nat said...

Will visit on one of my weekend breaks but not clear as to the location. Anywhere near blue mosque?

Nat said...

Scrap last comment joy - just seen the link to the map

A Seasonal Cook in Turkey said...

Just seen MAP too ... are you near Mehmet Çetinkaya then? How fabulous! Just perfect!!

Erica (Irene) said...

Next time I'm in Istanbul I'll be there for sure. :-)

BacktoBodrum said...

Good luck with the new venture. It will be my first stop when I visit.

Sue Narayan said...

How about opening a branch in Arnavutkoy!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

what fun! i would love to do something like that!

Julia said...

Well, it's always good to have something to keep you occupied while you're in Turkey. ;) Congrats on the new gig and we'll be in Istanbul at some point soon no doubt so we'll definitely pop in to give it a try. :)

Ozlem's Turkish Table said...

Gorgeous post Joy, and many congrats to you:)! I am definetely back to Istanbul in Feb, would love to go to Denizen and hope to see you too!

Deniz Bevan said...

Awesome! This one's going on the next-time-we're-in-Istanbul list!

Joy said...

@Nat, glad you saw the map! Just head to the end of the Hippodrome, and almost walk straight ahead on the small sokak right there. This is Sehit Mehmet Pasa. Denizen Coffee is about 3 doors down from the corner.

@Claudia, close, but about 2 streets over to the NW.

Joy said...

@Erica (Irene), Back to Bodrum, Joyce, Julia, Ozlem and Deniz, thanks for your comments! Hopefully you can all stop in someday and try my pastries in person instead of just seeing them on the computer screen. ;-)

@Sue, ha ha! Just gives you a reason to come to Sultanahmet when you have guests or need to do some bazaar shopping.

elz said...

Hello! Mandy ( http://www.mandsterdam.tumblr.com/ ) sent me over here to your blog, I will be traveling around Istanbul for four days beginning on Friday with a friend. We are currently expats living in Amsterdam - and of course Mandy too.

So glad she gave me your blog. Definitely going to stop by here after reading this post! If you have any other tips for a friend-of-a-friend, I would LOVE them! This is our first time in the city. We are staying in Sultanahmet.
ellen @ companyofclever.com

I am sure you are busy so no worries if I don't hear from you. :)

All the best,
Ellen

elz said...
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